i'm working on a piece of music/sound art in which i'm creating an artificial soundscape. my next task is to recreate the sound of running water and i'm having trouble coming up with things to record and process... so far my main idea is to record the sound of sharpies on paper and (lightly) rub my fingernails on my wooden desk... obviously i'll have to play with processing these sounds to get them to sound right, but i'm wondering if anyone might have some ideas that i can play with

3 Answers 3


When you say "artificial soundscape" does this mean you can use anything BUT the sound of water? So, you couldn't record different kinds of running water sounds? Instead you would have to create that sound with an alternative source?

I suppose the question I would ask myself is "what does running water sound like?" I think that's a very loaded question. Water is one of my favourite sounds to record, and my response would be "what kind of running water?"

A babbling brook? A stream? A bath tap? A hose? Rain in the gutter? Gentle waves running over rocks? A trickling fountain?

Water is a very versatile sound reallly. By that I mean there are lots of tonal qualities to draw from. Deep low glugs and plops. High fizzy splashes. Roaring white noise.

What kind of water sound are you trying to recreate?

  • I'm trying to do it without using ANY water at all. It's been quite the task, and pretty intriguing tbh. Perhaps some light foamy waves, but just the sound of a stream Commented May 24, 2017 at 20:49

You could use a VST like Uhe Zebra2, it works great with for organic Fx.
I successfully created sea waves sounds using this VST and water like effect with a slightly bubbled sound.


Maybe this is too simple but pink noise would be the first place I'd turn to, and then modulate from there, maybe utilizing some worldizing?

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